At Oasis Dental Studio, we want you to feel like the best version of yourself! This is why we offer a number of safe and effective skin treatments such as facial threads at our Gold Coast dental clinics, which can help enhance your natural beauty.
To find out why you may need facial threads, you first need to understand how the skin ageing process works.
What is Facial Ageing and Skin Laxity?
The appearance of facial ageing is a reflection of the dynamic, cumulative effects of time, as well as various internal and external factors unique to each individual, that lead to physical changes in the skin, soft tissues and deep structural components of the face.
While numerous factors contribute to the appearance and severity of facial ageing in an individual (eg. smoking, gravity, medication, sun exposure, stress, poor nutrition, pattern of facial muscle activity etc), the process of facial deterioration is fairly predictable and follows a pattern called the “3 D’s”, which are:
- Deflation: This is the progressive loss of volume in the face over time, just as a grape turns into a raisin!
- Descent: Once support is lost and the skin becomes loose or lax, the soft tissues gradually sag under the influence of gravity to create the appearance of deeper folds, soft facial contours and jowls along the jawline.
- Deterioration: The skin itself also undergoes structural changes which further contribute to the visible signs of ageing. Changes include a loss of collagen and other vital components, allowing the skin to take on a more dull, dry and rough texture, as well as developing pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.
Because of the “3 D’s”, the overall view of the face as it ages is of a lifted triangle being turned upside down – a phenomenon called the inversion of the “Pyramid of Youth”.
How Can Facial Ageing and Skin Laxity Be Treated?
Because facial ageing is a multi-factorial, 3-dimensional and ever-changing process, it often requires a multi-pronged approach to treatment which involves several different types of therapies used in unison – there is no single treatment that can be used in isolation to achieve the best results. As there are several options to consider for the treatment of facial ageing and skin laxity, these should be discussed in consultation with your doctor as they are among the only people qualified to assess all aspects of your condition and to help you determine the most appropriate choice for your individual circumstances.
Available treatment options address different aspects of facial ageing, depending on the cause, and they vary in cost, complexity and the expected results, including how long they last and potential complications. Options include:
- Use of scientifically proven home skincare products
- Active skin resurfacing and reconditioning therapies, e.g. Laser, chemical peels, micro-needling and autologous blood injections (PRP/CGF)
- Anti-wrinkle injections, e.g. Botox
- Volume adding injections, e.g. Dermal fillers
- Skin tightening devices, e.g. Radiofrequency (RF) and High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)
- Surgical repositioning of the skin and underlying structures, e.g. Surgical facelift and Bletheroplasty
- Non-surgical repositioning and reconditioning of the skin using fine filaments, i.e. Facial thread lifting and skin reconditioning
What are Threads and What Can Be Treated?
“Threads” are fine synthetic fibres made of a material called Polydioxanone (PDO), which has a long history of safe and reliable use in surgery as “stitches” to close wounds. This material will dissolve over time and be completely eliminated from your body.
Traditionally, the only reliable treatment available for loose skin or skin laxity issues was to wait until the problem was serious enough to undergo a surgical “facelift” operation, with therapies such as HIFU and RF only able to be used for mild cases of skin laxity and proving largely unreliable.
Threads now offer a non-surgical, injectable alternative to traditional surgical facelift procedures as well as having the potential to improve the condition of the skin. The treatment objective depends on the type of thread being used:
- Mono Threads: Skin rejuvenation, tightening and reconditioning, eg. reduction of fine lines, wrinkles and improvement in texture by stimulating Collagen.
- Cog Threads: Reduction of mild-moderate skin laxity by providing mechanical support and physically lifting sagging tissues.
Areas that can be treated include:
- Cheek and mid-face lifting
- Eyebrow lifting
- Lower face, jawline, jowl and neck lifting
- Naso-labial fold reduction (nose to mouth lines)
- Marionette line reduction (corners of the mouth)
- Reduction of lip lines
- Nose projection and elevation
- Generalised skin tightening and reconditioning across the entire face
What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
After diagnosing the condition, your doctor will determine the type, number and position of thread placement that will be required to achieve the desired results and local anaesthetic will be administered to the skin. The PDO thread is then placed in the skin using a disposable cannula or micro-needle, which should be completely painless.
Treatment time varies depending on the condition being treated but generally is between 30-60 minutes, after which you will be able to resume your everyday activities. If the “lifting” threads are used, then results will be apparent immediately after the procedure. With all thread types however, Collagen production takes time and results will continue to improve over the following 2-3 months, lasting up to 2 years depending on the nature of the treatment provided. The thread itself will dissolve completely after about 6 months.
What Can I Expect After the Treatment?
Immediately after the treatment, the area will still be numb for several hours and you should not eat, drink or manipulate the treatment area until you regain sensation. The treatment area may be red, swollen and bleed briefly (which will be controlled by your doctor), resulting in some bruising. Do not schedule any major events on the day of, or for two weeks following treatment, to allow for any bruising or swelling to subside.
After the anaesthetic wears off there may be some transient pain and discomfort, especially a tight pulling feeling if you have had a lifting procedure. These feelings usually ease within a week and can be controlled with medication, though you should follow a soft diet and limit the degree of mouth opening until feelings of discomfort have passed.
A full list of post-treatment care instructions will be provided by your doctor in order to minimise potential side effects and maximise results in your individual case.
You should schedule a review appointment with your doctor two weeks after receiving treatment, at which time further treatment (either more threads or alternative therapies) maybe required to achieve the desired outcome.
Are There Any Potential Problems?
Thankfully, PDO threads have been shown to be very reliable and safe, yet all medical and dental procedures have the potential to cause unwanted side effects/complications and you should discuss these with your doctor.
While problems are rare, the most common issues come from the injection process rather than the threads and can include redness, swelling, itching, bruising, bleeding and skin infection.
The thread may damage or affect the function of the muscles, nerves and other structures or the threads may move out of position. These events could result in various aesthetic and functional defects, as well as pain, that would require further medical intervention.
While exceptionally rare, life-threatening allergic reactions are possible.
Rest assured that your doctor will conduct a thorough review of your health and medical history prior to delivering treatment to ensure that you are safe to receive this therapy and unlikely to encounter problems. Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not undergo these procedures.